Stupid Power Conditioner question but...

Hello All,

Silly question but I recently had a 20 amp dedicated circuit installed for my HT. I have a SimAudio Moon Titan HT200 5 channel amp (that's why I wanted the 20 amp circuit installed). I run all my gear through a Panamax M5300 PC. This is a 15 amp unit. Would this be limiting the current draw making my move to the 20 amp circuit moot? Do I need to move to a 20 amp PC to realize the full potential?

Thank you all in advance for any/all replies...
The amplifier probably worked, sounded fine, on the 15 amp branch circuit and more than likely never tripped the 15 amp breaker at the electrical panel. Pushing the amp playing high dynamics source material was more than likely limiting the full potential of the amp. You should hear a difference with the amp connected to the 20 amp dedicated branch circuit. Its not the extra breaker handle rating of 5 amps that will make the difference, its the dedicated branch circuit wiring and the larger wire size used for the 20 amp circuit.

Just a guess the 15 amp branch circuit (#14awg wire) is a convenience outlet branch circuit with several other outlets and loads connected to it. Maybe even lighting loads. Several connections made on the circuit wiring. Possibly several series resistance connections.

Your new 20 amp dedicated branch circuit is more than likely one unbroken continuous line from the breaker electrical panel to the wall duplex outlet. Bare minimum wire size is #12awg. Maybe you had the electrician install #10awg wire, even better.

The Titan is capable of delivering very high power output and its electrical consumption grows accordingly with its power output. The amplifier comes with a 20 ampere power cord and corresponding 20A IEC connector on the back panel. Most domestic 120V household AC circuits are rated at 15 Amperes. This amplifier will function normally on these circuits. To realize the full power potential of this amplifier, more than 15A will be drawn from your AC line on occasion. However, the music/movie material must be simultaneously demanding on all channels. As well, the volume on your preamplifier/processor must be set very high to encounter such a condition. Typically, not all channels are driven hard at the same time, so it is most likely this situation will not be encountered.
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I would plug the amp directly into one of the receptacles of the dedicated 20 amp circuit’s duplex receptacle outlet. Use the other outlet of the duplex for the Panamax M5300 PC to power the other associated audio/video equipment.

Thank you very much Jim! Great reply and sincerely appreciated. I honestly had been thinking about plugging the SimAudio amp directly into the outlet. I already have the Panamax plugged into one of the receptacles. Plus I also have a whole house surge protector so I think the amp is safe as kittens from surges, no? I think I'll go direct to the outlet for the amp! Thanks again Jim for taking the time to answer...

Best Regards,
If you are going to run any nice gear without surge protection (and you should rarely do this) then at least install a whole house surge suppressor.

There's really no practical difference in a 15A vs. 20A circuit except for the minimum gauge of wiring required.  12 ga. vs. 14 ga. which with a long run can give you a bit better voltage performance.

+1. The whole house surge protector is the best way to safeguard against power surges, not only for your stereo equipment, but your computers, as well.
@erik_squires @jea48 ,
Always great advice.
“I would plug the amp directly into one of the receptacles of the dedicated 20 amp circuit’s duplex receptacle outlet”

Please don’t do this without installing surge protection at your main breaker box. 
Whole house OR Zero Surge plug in.

Whole house surge protectors usually have a rather high activation voltage. 350V or so and they take time to work. On the other hand they since they are close to the ground / neutral junction they have a good chance of working well vs. using MOV strips far from the panel.  I think every home owner should invest in them, they are relatively inexpensive and placed in the right spot, but best?  Not to my mind.

Zero Surge / Brickwall clamps under 200V and has no activation time.

The best solutions IMHO are a combination whole house + series mode protection, followed by whole house + Furman.
I think the OP did say he/she had a whole house surge protector in place.
already. If so, I think any downstream surge protection would be superfluous.

IMHO, putting an amp behind a surge protector that is not a whole house one is a potential way to diminish sound quality. And, especially so if you have a high output amplifier. So, considering my monoblocks put out more than 100wpc, is there any power conditioner/surge suppressor that will allow them to perform without limiting their performance?
“So, considering my monoblocks put out more than 100wpc, is there any power conditioner/surge suppressor that will allow them to perform without limiting their performance?”

Check out Audience, they are non-current limiting and provide excellent power conditioning.
Do you really have a 20-amp dedicated circuit? There are three things that rate the circuit at 20 amps: a 20-amp circuit breaker, a wire that handles 20-amps (#12 or #10) and a 20-amp receptacle.

A 20-amp receptacle (Nema 5-20) can accept both a 20-amp and 15-amp plug. A 15-amp receptacle (nema 5-15) can only accept a 15-amp plug. The 5-15 is the most common receptacles installed in houses. This limits your circuit to 15-amps and is the reason why the Panamax unit is rated at 15 amps (because it has a 15-amp power cord that only fits in 15-amp receptacles).

The difference in the receptacles is a 5-15 has the hot and neutral parallel to each other because the plug blades are parallel. The 5-20 has a "cross" in the neutral because the 20 amp plug has the hot and neutral perpendicular and the "cross’’ enables both the 15 and 20 amp plugs to be used.

If you buy a 20-amp power strip it will have a 20-amp cord and will not fit in a conventional 15-amp receptacle. You will have to replace it with a 5-20 receptacle and the electrician won't do it if the other two conditions are not met.